Philip Anselmo’s anticipated solo album Walk Through Exits Only has finally seen the light of day. The record has been issued through Season of Mist and Anselmo’s imprint Housecore Records. If you have been expecting Anselmo to stretch musical boundaries or produce something that is beyond his previous work with Super Joint Ritual or Arson Anthem then you’ll probably want to avoid Walk Through Exits Only.
Walk Through Exits Only is essentially a musical tornado of songs they are loud, aggressive and at times overwhelming at times. Regardless of your ‘like’ or your ‘dislike’ for the music—you’ll definitely have a strong emotional reaction to what you’re hearing. It’s hardcore, it’s punk, it’s metalcore—it’s not at far removed from Anselmo’s roots and influences which have been well documented throughout the years.
Anselmo’s backing band The Illegals is comprised of Marzi Montazeri on guitar, Jose Bennett Bartley recorded the bass and Manual Gonzalez on drums. While this type of recording isn’t known for it’s production Walk Through Exits Only does pack one hellacious wallop—which is a plus. Philip Anselmo has nothing to prove at this point in his career; fans are fully aware of his musical history and legacy with Pantera, Down, Super Joint Ritual and Arson Anthem. Unfortunately that could be part of the dilemma here–he’s kept things within the confines of the post Pantera projects; making it for a musically stagnant, predictable, and contrived recording. Sure songs like “Betrayed,” “Bedroom Destroyer,” and “Walk Through Exits Only” have their moments but they don’t really go anywhere. I remember a VH-1 Classic TV ad featuring Alice Cooper where he said, ”Yeah, yeah I get it you’re angry—but where’s the song?” Where’s the song Philip?